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02 February 2018

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Walrus

What we do know from McCabe is that the warrant would not have been granted without the steele dossier. Therefore your comment about other details is irrelevant as such details must be even flakier than the dossier.

Anna

"It is almost impossible to prove that there was no Russian election project (your apparent conviction) without actually examining people events. Russian involvement is consistent with everything I know about their attitudes and actions in Europe."
--What is your point exactly?
What this "almost impossible to prove" project and the "attitude" have to do with the violation of the US Constitution by the national security apparatus and with the plot against the newly elected POTUS by Clinton' loyalists within the apparatus? It seems that the coup d'etat in Ukraine was too much for you. The US does not want to become a banana republic.

Hollywood Mark

Curveball

Anna

And all these "patriots" yelling about "national security" were pretty silent when sources and methods were uncovered over the leaks of the Flynn - Russian Ambassador phone calls"
-- the whole "Russiagate" affair stinks Cheneyism.

JW

That is quite defamatory :) to the Zimbabwean intelligence services; even they would be unlikely to disclose the identity of a high level Russian source on what was essentially a piece of notepaper. I'm of the belief that Hillary herself probably wrote the thing thus giving it the legs that have take it so far.
The warrant itself and the underlying affidavit(s) would make an interesting read.

JW

The Memo comes from a credible source, unlike the Steele concoction, and at least points in the direction of further discovery.
I also doubt the Brits would have been very forthcoming, and would have instead made efforts to distance themselves from what they would see as an impending US debacle.

Steve McIntyre

You observe: "What is missing in this "Raft of the Medusa" scene is the complicity of the unholy duo (Brennan and Clapper) and perhaps others in the IC."

Re-read WaPo article of June 23, 2017 http://archive.is/Z3YJn which describes how Brennan created a hair-on-fire task force in August after receiving super-secret info (not disclosed, but my guess is it's Steele info laundered through GCHQ to CIA).

Brennan then briefed Gang of Eight, resulting in a Harry Reid letter to NYT on Aug 29, making what now can be seen as reference to Carter Page.

Isikoff sources include congressional leaders/staff who've been briefed by Brennan. Since Isikoff article is about Carter Page meetings with Sechin, Diveykin, Brennan's briefings must also have been about Sechin, Diveykin i.e. Steele dossier based.

Largest question IMO is whether direct attribution to Putin of delivery of DNC emails to Wikileaks, about which there was considerable skepticism in July 2016 when first claimed by Robbie Mook of DNC, is based on dossier in all or part. It originated claim and I am unaware of any other primary document making claim.

turcopolier

JW

You do know that May fired the head of GCHQ when this began to unravel don't you? pl

LondonBob

So now we know why Rosenstein appointed a special counsel. He needs to go now, having Wray force McCabe in to early retirement, what punishment is that, is not enough.

Interesting to see the neocons still defending Mueller. Clearly Mueller is seen as means to pressure Trump to toe the line. Trump is looking strong now though.

The memo looks like the first shot of a barrage of releases, IG report etc. I am sure at the right time the Mueller probe will be wrapped up.

blowback

Has the military just got involved?

"Speaking to reporters Friday at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary James Mattis admitted that the US has no evidence Syria has used sarin gas in the course of the Syrian War, though he threatened a harsh US reaction if Syria did so."

I would suggest that it's likely the CIA has been involved in the background with the FBI/DoJ in this particular mess from the beginning and the military has objected to much of what the CIA has done in Syria. So, has Mattis launched a pre-emptive strike, with a good dose of revenge built-in, against the CIA to knock them out of the anti-Trump shenanigans?

Dr. Puck

In a comment in this thread, How the U.S. House Can Disclose the Tantalizing Secret Memo About Surveillance Us, you wrote:

"IMO, the memo is not what is key here. It is the material behind the memo the counts."

and

"However, doesn't Trump have the power to declassify anything he wants to? If the situation is as the Rs are claiming it to be, would it not be in Trump's best interest to declassify enough material to cover his own ass and to prove his point as well purge some enemies of the republic?"

Dr. Puck

Ha! We don't know, do we? It's a "known unknown."

We don't know McCabe's exact words, do we? Assertions are nifty but limited.

It seems the argument with respect to the allegation that an incompetent FBI that was riddled with leftwingers that wanted to overturn an election might attach to more and maximum evidence rather than to less, and, fuzzy, evidence.

I've already been apprised that the tactical hope for more evidence is just playing into the hands of the so-called deep state. And, told that, I will be surprised when the jedi Trump turns the Federal law enforcement capability and ICE and US Marshals into a, (guessing here,) a "beautiful," non-partisan rule-of-law exemplar--in the aftermath of his upcoming purge.

Joe Buckstrap

Michael Morell probably figures in this. It wouldn't surprise me if he put the bullets in Seth Rich's back.

David Habakkuk

All,

In the light of the suggestion in the Nunes memo that Steele was ‘a longtime FBI source’ it seems worth sketching out some background, which may also make it easier to see some possible reasons why he ‘was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.’.

There is reason to suspect that some former and very likely current employees of the FBI have been colluding with elements in other American and British intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and MI6, in support of an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda for a very long time. It also seems clear that influential journalists such as Glenn Simpson was before founding Fusion GPS have been strongly involved in this.

This agenda has involved hopes for ‘régime change’ in Russia, where as the result of an oligarchic coup, a popular revolt, or some combination of both. It also involved the further ‘rollback’ of Russia influence in the former post-Soviet space, both in countries now independent, such as Ukraine, and also ones still part of the Russian Federation, notably Chechnya.

And, crucially, it involved exploiting the retreat of Russian power from the Middle East for ‘régime change’ projects which it was hoped would provide a definitive solution to the – inherently intractable – security problems of a Jewish settler state in the area.

Important support for these strategies was provided by the ‘StratCom’ network centred around the late Boris Berezovsky, which clearly collaborated closely with MI6. As was apparent from the witness list at Sir Robert Owen’s Inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, which was essentially a recycling of claims made by the network’s members, key players were on your side of the Atlantic – notably Alex Goldfarb, Yuri Shvets, and Yuri Felshtinsky.

One key figure was missing at the Inquiry – the former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared on the Iranian island of Kish in March 2007.

Unfortunately, I only recently came across a book on Levinson published back in 2016 by the ‘New York Times’ journalist Barry Meier, which is now hopefully winging its way across the Atlantic. From the accounts of the book I have seen, such as one by Jeff Stein in ‘Newsweek’, it seems likely that its author did not look at any of the evidence presented at Owen’s Inquiry.

(See http://www.newsweek.com/2016/05/20/what-really-happened-robert-levinson-cia-iran-454803.html .)

Had he done so, Meier might have discovered that his subject had been, as it were, ‘top supporting actor’ in the first fumbling attempt by Christopher Steele et al to produce a plausible-sounding scenario as to the background to Litvinenko’s death. A Radio 4 programme on 16 December 2006 had been wholly devoted to an account by Shvets, backed up by Levinson – both of them, like Litvinenko, supposed to be impartial ‘due diligence’ operatives (connections with intelligence agencies – perish the thought!)

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence">http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

This has become particularly relevant now, given that Simpson has placed the notorious Ukrainian mobster Semyon Mogilevich and the ‘Solntsevskaya Bratva’ mafia group centre stage in his accounts not simply of Trump and Manafort, but also of William Browder. For most of the ‘Nineties, Levinson had been a, if not the, lead FBI investigator on Mogilevich.

In the months leading up to Levinson’s disappearance, a key priority for the advocates of the strategy I have described was to prevent it being totally derailed by the patently catastrophic outcome of the Iraqi adventure.

Compounding the problem was the fact that this had created the ‘Shia Crescent’, which in turn exacerbated the potential ‘existential threat’ to Israel posed by the steadily increasing range, accuracy and numbers of missiles available to Hizbullah in hardened positions north of the Litani.

One requirement, in consequence, was to counter suggestions from the Russian side that going around smashing up ‘régimes’ that one might not like sometimes blew up in one’s face, that it was foolish to think one could use jihadists without risking ‘blowback’, and that Russia and the West had an overwhelming common interest in combating Islamic extremism.

Another priority was to counter the pushback in the American ‘intelligence community’ and military, which was to produce the drastic downgrading of the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear programme in the November 2007 NIE and then the resignation of Admiral Fallon as head of ‘Centcom’ the following March.

So in 2005 Shvets came to London. Selections from the famous tapes of conversations involving the former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma supposedly recorded by Major Melnychenko were edited under his supervision, so that material that did in fact establish that both the SBU and FSB had collaborated with Mogilevich could be employed to make it seem that Putin had a close personal relationship with the mobster.

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence">http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

In a letter sent in December that year by Litvinenko to the ‘Mitrokhin Commission’, for which his Italian associate Mario Scaramella was a consultant, this was used in an attempt to demonstrate that Mogilevich, while acting as an agent for the FSB and under Putin’s personal ‘krysha’, had attempted to supply a ‘mini atomic bomb’ – aka ‘suitcase nuke’ – to Al Qaeda. Shortly after the letter was sent Scaramella departed on a trip to Washington, where he appears to have got access to Aldrich Ames.

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence">http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

At precisely this time, as Meier explains, Levinson was in the process of being recruited by a lady called Anne Jablonski who then worked as a CIA analyst. It appears that she was furious at the failure of the operational side at the Agency to produce evidence which would have established that Iran did have an ongoing nuclear programme, and she may well have hoped would implicate Russia in supplying materials.

There are grounds to suspect that one of the things that Berezovsky and Shvets were doing was fabricating such ‘evidence.’ Whether Levinson was involved in such attempts, or genuinely looking for evidence he was convinced must be there, I cannot say. It appears that he fell for a rather elementary entrapment operation – which could well have been organised with the collaboration of Russian intelligence. (People do get fed up with being framed, particular if ‘régime change’ is the goal.)

It also seems likely that, quite possibly in a different but related entrapment operation, related to propaganda wars in which claims and counter claims about a polonium-beryllium ‘initiator’ as the crucial missing part which might make a ‘suitcase nuke’ functional, Litvinenko accidentally ingested fatal quantities of polonium. A good deal of evidence suggests that this may have been at Berezovsky’s offices on the night before he was supposedly assassinated.

It was, obviously, important for Steele et al to ensure that nobody looked at the ‘StratCom’ wars about ‘suitcase nukes.’ Here, a figure who has played a key role in such wars in relation to Syria plays an interesting minor one in the story.

Some time following the destruction of the case for an immediate war by the November 2007 NIE, a chemical weapons specialist called Dan Kaszeta, who had worked in the White House for twelve years, moved to London.

In 2011, in addition to founding a consultancy called ‘Strongpoint Security’, he began a writing career with articles in ‘CBRNe World.’ Later, he would become the conduit through which the notorious ‘hexamine hypothesis’, supposedly clinching proof that the Syrian government was responsible for the sarin incidents at Khan Sheikhoun, Ghouta, Saraqeb, and Khan Al-Asal, was disseminated.

Having been forced by the threat of a case being opened against them under human rights law into resuming the inquest into Litvinenko’s death, in August 2012 that Sir Robert Owen was appointed to conduct it. That same month, a piece appeared in ‘CBRNe World’ with the the strapline: ‘Dan Kaszeta looks into the ultimate press story: Suitcase nukes’, and the main title ‘Carry on or checked bags?’ Among the grounds he gives for playing down the scare:

‘Some components rely on materials with shelf life. Tritium, for example, is used in many nuclear weapon designs and has a twelve year half-life. Polonium, used in neutron initiators in some earlier types of weapon designs, has a very short halflife. US documents state that every nuclear weapon has “limited life components” that require periodic replacement (do an internet search for nuclear limited life components and you can read for weeks).’

(For this and other articles by Kaszeta, as also his bio, see http://strongpointsecurity.co.uk ‘)

What Kaszeta has actually described are the reasons why polonium is a perfect ‘StratCom’ instrument. In terms of scientific plausibility, in fact there were no ‘suitcase nukes’, and in any case ‘initiators’ using polonium had been abandoned very early on, in favour of ones which lasted longer.

For ‘StratCom’ scenarios, as experience with the ‘hexamine hypothesis’ has proved, scientific plausibility can be irrelevant. What polonium provides is a means of suggesting that Al Qaeda have in fact got hold of a nuclear device which they could easily smuggle into, say, Rome or New York, or indeed Moscow, but there is a crucial missing component which the FSB is trying to provide to them – or Berezovsky and Litvinenko to the Chechen insurgents. In addition, the sole known source of global supply is the Avangard plant at Sarov in Russia.

As it is not clear why Kaszeta introduced it into an article which was concerned with scientific plausibility, one is left with an interesting question as to whether he cut his teeth on ‘StratCom’ attempting to ensure that nobody seriously interested in CBRN science followed an obvious lead.

In relation to the question of whether current FBI personnel had been involved in the kind of ‘StratCom’ exercises, I have been describing, a critical issue is the involvement of Shvets and Levinson in the Alexander Khonanykhine affair back in the ‘Nineties, and the latter’s use of claims about the Solntsevskaya to prevent the key figure’s extradition. But this comment has already gone on quite long enough.

JMH

Vis a vis Turkey, you are saying that this reminds you of a situation where there WAS an actual coup attempt.

Vic

Am I missing something?

If the FISA warrants were obtained utilizing false or incomplete justifications does this not poison any evidence gathered from these warrants as well as other evidence gathered using the tainted information to develop leads for additional evidence gathering?

If so where does this leave the Mueller investigation?

Just wondering.

Vic

Publius Tacitus

You are spot on. Could destroy the case against Manafort

Eric Newhill

Dr. Puck #86,

I have stated that the evidence behind the memo is what counts b/c people like you will attempt to obfuscate the importance of the memo; not b/c the memo is, itself, meaningless.

The memo is meaningful, to any unbiased rational observer, when combined w/ the testimony of McCabe & Comey (respectively,that the FISA would warrant would not have been obtained w/o the Steele dossier & the Steele dossier was salacious and unvetted). They also found out at some point that the dossier had been paid for by the Clinton campaign and still continued to use it to obtain continuances of the FISA warrant.

Thus, the FISA warrant was illegally obtained. Furthermore, there was no compelling evidence or case against Trump (as Strzok himself indicated in his hormone addled emails) and, more importantly, as indicated by the prominence of the unvetted Steele dossier to obtain the warrant.

In summary, the FBI knew it had no evidence to indicate probable cause against Trump & team and they went ahead and started an investigation using what they knew was crap evidence (the dossier). The only possible explanation is that they wanted to bring down Trump for purely political reasons.

But there are paid talking heads, bots, etc (you?) that are everywhere sowing confusion and hand waving away the memo. That was inevitable. That's why I said that subsequent to the memo release, the real game would be the underlying evidence.

I predict that your tactics are going to result in further calamity for your team as the underlying evidence is going to reveal further corruption. Then again, I guess you're doing what you have to in order to buy time in the hopes that something, anything, changes the current trajectory of this matter - a trajectory that appears to be inexorably heading for a direct and devastating hit on the Borg.

Mark Logan

Rhondda

Re: Raft of the Medusa

I particularly liked "Our whole society is aboard the raft of the Medusa."

3k3

A further tie-in to the Clinton machine, was the red-herring attributed to Podesta -- that he & others, brainstormed and invented the Russian collusion story, on the night after Hillary's election defeat. Supposedly, Podesta's admission/leak the he & the Clinton team invented the Trump-Russia connection was to cover over and distract from the fact of spending all that money on the campaign, and still losing to Trump.

so, that lie that Podesta made up a lie, was a lie to lay a false trail away from the FISA lies.

these guys juggle lies like chinese acrobats.

blue peacock

All

We need to remind ourselves that the Nunes memo is the first salvo. The kickoff. It will be the first of many memos and reports and declassified documents. The game wherein the public gains knowledge of the conspiracy has just begun.

Next we'll see the Schiff memo. Then there will be additional memos by Nunes, Grassley and Goodlatte. There will be the DOJ IG report. This will keep focus on the conspiracy at the highest levels of law enforcement and the IC through summer and into fall. Mueller's probe will likely fizzle out or morph into something else because if there was even a shred of evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election it would have been leaked a long time ago when Strzok and Page were the top investigators on the Mueller team. Note that the FBI & DOJ have been investigating Trump at least since the Summer 2016.

The Nunes memo now raises many questions, which hopefully will get answered in the months ahead. Many questions about the Fusion GPS dossier - how was it produced? Who wrote what aspects? What did Nellie Ohr write? What was passed through her husband Bruce to the FBI? What did Steele write? Was Steele acting on his own or with full knowledge of GCHQ? Did the FBI know that Fusion GPS and Steele were pitching the dossier contents to the media? Were journalists paid?

Then there are questions around the FBI investigation of Clinton's mishandling of classified information. What did Lynch know and when? Was her tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton accidental or intentional? How was that investigation "fixed"? Who participated in that?

There are also questions around the role of the IC, in particular Clapper and Brennan. What role did the foreign IC play? Was that orchestrated?

Then there are questions around the media narrative of Trump's collusion with the Russians. Who organized and participated in it?

Of course there are many questions around the surveillance of the Trump campaign and Trump's transition team. How did that surveillance begin? Who participated in that? Who authorized it? Which members of Trump's team were unmasked and who requested these unmaskings? How was that information used?

And then the big question. What did Obama know and when? What role did he play?

At this stage we don't know if these questions will be answered or if anyone will be prosecuted and held to account. The Deep State and their allies in the media and in both political parties are waging an intense battle to obfuscate, delay, stall and most importantly hide behind classification and "sources & methods" to prevent disclosure and accountability. President Trump is also caught in a box with the Mueller special counsel on one side and the hysteria of any move of his to unilaterally declassify being characterized as "obstruction of justice" and damaging national security on the other side.

IMO, the Democrats supported by Republicans like McCain and the media are making a big mistake. If this conspiracy by law enforcement and the IC is brushed under the rug as they would like today for partisan reasons to protect the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton as well as their hatred for Trump, it is just a matter of time until the tables are turned. Then of course it will be too late as the national security apparatus would have become a law unto themselves and act even more brazenly and with impunity.

Jonathan

The Guccifer 2.0 docs' metadata bear the name of one "Warren Flood", a Democrat Party consultant. http://gawker.com/this-looks-like-the-dncs-hacked-trump-oppo-file-1782040426 Since these "leaks" were released as rich text files, this can be easily verified in Notepad or another simple text editor.
What's more, according to my own investigation, they appear to have been composed on computers apparently property of the GSA.

doug

The treehouse is partisan but drills deep and I find the place useful and Sundance's (the blogger) analysis interesting. However, I'm somewhat aghast that he would post a severely wrong statement on probability that he made something of a big deal out of. It's nonsense on its face if one has the smallest smidgen of number sense.

He stated that it is reported that the 4 FISA court judges were all different and that, even if limited to the 7 judges in the region, the probability that those chosen, if chosen randomly, would all be different was under 1%. This was so obviously wrong that I calculated it out as (6/7)*(5/7)*(4/7) or about 1/3. He responded with something incomprehensible.

I'm also appalled at the general innumeracy of the commenters. Here's the relevant passage:

>>Even if you expand the pool of possible judges to include the entire Northeast, there are only SEVEN (DC-3, NJ-1, NY-1, MD-1, VA-1) The probability of having four separate judges engaged on the same Title I request (against Carter Page), on four different occasions, is too small (00.94%) to be a random, or non-manipulated, sequence of events.


https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/02/03/wsj-reports-four-separate-fisa-court-judges-approved-renewals-to-carter-page-surveillance/comment-page-1/#comments

Weird.

Dr. Puck

Greco wrote: " to justify the surveillance of the opposition's nominee for president--an extraordinary and arguably unprecedented act"

I was unaware that surveillance was authorized of candidate Donald J. Trump.

Four FISA applications were serially made to the court concerning Carter Page. Better: 'to justify the surveillance of a foreign policy advisor to candidate Trump. Page left the campaign before the first FISA application.

Dr. Puck

Eric, I don't know how this will turn out. Like you, I hope the facts are fully revealed. I hope most everything factual comes to be released. We at least agree on this.

In the end, the details will make it obvious what actually happened. Hopefully.

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